OGDEN, Utah President Gordon B. Hinckley exhorted members of the congregation to trust in the Lord in their family relationships and in other matters of life as he spoke during a regional conference at the Dee Events Center here Sunday morning, Sept. 19.
He took as his theme Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
The conference was attended by members of 10 stakes in northern Weber County. They filled Weber State University's 12,000-seat arena and spilled out into the concourse surrounding the arena.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve accompanied President Hinckley and conducted the meeting. He and his wife, Mary, also spoke, along with Area Authority Seventy Robert H. Garff and his wife, Katharine.
Speaking just before President Hinckley was F. Ann Millner, president of Weber State University, who spoke of the Mormon Pioneers who planted wheat, knowing they would not harvest it, but that it would benefit those who followed. She compared that to those who have helped build the university through the years, including President David O. McKay, presenting a history of the development of Weber State.
President Hinckley thanked her for her remarks and stated that he, himself, was an alumnus, having received an honorary doctorate from Weber State seven years earlier.
Speaking to those who are students at the school, he said, "I hope you know that this is a great institution, that you can receive a good education here, and that if you will put into it the effort that it deserves, you will be well taught, and you will go on to careers of achievement and accomplishment."
Then President Hinckley turned to his theme. He said, "We live in very complex times. We deal with serious problems, all of us. There is not any question in my mind that in this congregation today there are those who are deeply concerned about various matters, wonder about them, what to do about them, and how can they handle this and handle that."
He again recited his scripture theme to "trust in the Lord."
Turning to the topic of rearing children, President Hinckley told of a honey locust tree he planted on a lot where, as a young man, he had just built a home for his family. He said he planted it where the wind blew out of the canyon and then neglected it for several years. One winter day, he looked out the window and saw the tree leaning to the west. "It had grown all out of shape. It was an ugly tree. It had not grown as I had hoped it would grow."
He said he tried to straighten it by leaning against it, and then by using a block and tackle to pull it. But ultimately, he had to get a pruning saw and cut it off so that all that was left was one straight spike.
"After I had made that terrible cut, I looked at that open wound from which the sap was coming, and almost could have wept as I looked at that wounded tree. It has grown straight and tall and strong and good, but oh, the ordeal that it suffered. If when that tree was young, I could have tied in place with a simple piece of string; that is all it would have taken to have held it in place and caused it to grow straight and tall."
He continued, "So it is with children, my dear parents. A little string gently handled can lead to an erect, wise, and great character; a little piece of string gently handled; not with harshness; not with meanness; not with abuse; but with kindness and love and forethought and faith and expectation and prayer, my brothers and sisters."
Another matter in which it is best to trust in the Lord is forgiving others, President Hinckley said. He recalled that a man had once offended him by taking from him legally, though unethically, an asset of his.
"I got on my knees and prayed to the Lord for the heart to forgive and forget," he said. "That is what happened. It passed completely from my mind. Years ago it passed."
"Brothers and sisters, I plead with you if you have in your systems any element of grudge against anybody, an unforgiving attitude, get rid of it. It will destroy you. It will poison you. It will affect your lives. It will affect your children."
President Hinckley finished his remarks with an expression of love and gratitude for the members of the Church and with his testimony of the Father and the Son, their appearance to Joseph Smith, and his knowledge that the Church will continue to grow throughout the world.
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